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Westbrook leads Thunder past Portland, closer to No. 1 seed in West

The SportsXchange

PORTLAND -- Russell Westbrook scored 33 points - 17 of them in a decisive third quarter - as Oklahoma City blew out Portland 106-90 Friday night at the Rose Garden.

Reggie Jackson came off the bench for 17 points and Kevin Durant added 16 points, six assists and five rebounds for the Thunder (59-21), who earned their fifth straight road victory and moved 1 1/2 games ahead of San Antonio (57-22) in the battle for the best record in the Western Conference.

Rookie Will Barton scored 18 points to lead the Trail Blazers (33-46), who lost their 10th consecutive game and a franchise-record seventh straight at home.

The Thunder shot .519 from the field, including .409 from 3-point range.

Leading by a point at the half, Oklahoma City took control in the third quarter, outscoring Portland 26-7 for an 81-61 lead heading into the final period. The Blazers made just 3 of 21 field-goal attempts in the quarter.

Oklahoma City shot .650 from the field in the first quarter but still led only 30-26. Serge Ibaka made 5 of 5 shots and scored 10 points in the quarter for the Thunder.

OKC's lead was 30-28 when the Thunder went on a 14-5 run to hike the advantage to 44-33. The Blazers responded with a 13-0 spurt to go back on top 46-44. Thabo Sefalosha's 3-point shot at the buzzer gave the Thunder a 55-54 lead at intermission.

Westbrook had 14, Durant 12 and Ibaka 11 at halftime while Barton scored 12 and LaMarcus Aldridge 10 before the break. Both teams shots well in the half - OKC at .550 and Portland at .511.

NOTES: Both teams enter Friday's game shorthanded. Oklahoma City was without starting center Kendrick Perkins (hamstring) and sixth man Kevin Martin (back). Hasheem Thabeet, who spent the second half of last season with Portland, started for Perkins. Portland was minus two starters -- shooting guard Wesley Matthews (ankle) and small forward Nicolas Batum (shoulder). Rookies Barton and Victor Claver started in their places. ... The Thunder can guarantee themselves homecourt advantage throughout the Western Conference playoffs by winning out against Sacramento and Milwaukee. "We would love to have it," Brooks said. "Any time you can have an extra home game in a series its important, but it doesn't guarantee you'll move on. We just want to play well down the stretch. ... Brooks on Portland rookie point guard Damian Lillard, who went for a season-high 38 points in Wednesday's loss to the Los Angeles Lakers: "He has the composure of a guy who has been in the league for seven or eight years. Nothing seems to rattle him. He had a great first month and it seems like each month he's played a little bit better. He's obviously going to win the Rookie of the Year."
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